By Rachel Hoffmeyer
An attempt to change an abortion bill and shift responsibility to the state to help provide services for disabled children failed in the Senate Monday.
Senate Bill 313 would prevent women from having an abortion if the decision is only based on gender or disabilities.
“The bill requires that if someone has a baby that they know is going to be developmentally disabled, they must have the child,” said Sen. Vaneta Becker, (R-Evansville). “It gives them no leeway.”
Becker proposed an amendment Monday to require the state to provide for services for those disabled children.
“If we think this is such a great idea, we ought to be willing to fund it,” she said.
However, when asked by Sen. Travis Holdman, (R-Markle), if she understood how much money that would cost the state, she said she didn’t know.
“This is amendment is done for no other reason than to kill the bill,” said Holdman. “Because there has been no fiscal done on this.”
“As it stands it is simply a poison pill to the bill,” said Sen. Brandt Hershman, (R-Buck Creek), complaining that Becker hadn’t suggested the amendment earlier so they could figure out the estimated cost of the proposal.
“If this were a serious amendment,” said Hershman, “It should have been offered in committee and recommitted.”
“This is a very serious amendment,” said Becker.
“All you’re doing is passing a huge tax increase on Hoosiers who have children with developmental disabilities that they cannot afford to find services for,” she said.
Becker’s amendment failed, 35-15. The bill moves forward unchanged, but Becker believes the legislation is destined to be struck down, even if it’s signed into law.
“Right now, the Supreme Court has clearly said that a woman has the right to choose up until the third trimester,” said Becker. “So this bill is definitely unconstitutional. It will be challenged and it will probably in all likelihood be shot down.”
Rachel Hoffmeyer is the Executive Editor of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.